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January 10, 1963

Memorandum from Maxwell D. Taylor for the Secretary of Defense [Robert McNamara], 'Withdrawal of Italian and Turkish JUPITERs'

Taylor forwarded to McNamara the views of USCINCEUR, CINCLANT, and the DSTP on targeting and submarine deployment issues. According to CINCLANT Admiral Dennison, it was feasible to deploy up to three Polaris submarines in the Mediterranean. They could regain the same “operating efficiency” that they had achieved in their previous Norwegian Sea deployment. In Lemnitzer’s absence, General Lauris Norstad, who was departing as CINCEUR, opposed the withdrawal of the Jupiters as “weakening our nuclear capability” by reducing target coverage and by “destroying” the Jupiter’s “psychological” impact. DSTP General Power was also concerned about target coverage but did not foresee “basic problems as long as Free World missiles are targeted as an integrated package.”

December 27, 1962

JCS Telegram 7947 to USCINCEUR [Commander-in-Chief European Command], CINCLANT [Commander-in-Chief Atlantic Command] and DSTP [Director Strategic Target Planning Staff], Offutt Air Force Base, Info for CINCSAC [Commander in Chief Strategic Air Command]

This urgent message “of the highest sensitivity” from the Joint Chiefs to top commanders began with a misrepresentation of President Kennedy’s decision: “serious consideration [is] being given to withdrawal of JUPITERS from Italy and Turkey.” The recipients—General Lyman Lemnitzer [CINCEUR], Admiral Robert Dennison [CINCLANT], and General Thomas Power [DSTP]—were to assume that Italy and Turkey had agreed to the decision, that withdrawal of the Jupiters would occur by April 1, 1963, and that Polaris submarines would be in the Mediterranean by that date. Both USCINCEUR and DSTP, who directed work on the SIOP, were to consider retargeting requirements once the Jupiters went offline. CINCLANT was to consider the feasibility of deploying one, two, or three submarines.

December 24, 1962

Talking Paper for the Chairman, JCS, for Discussion with the Deputy Secretary of Defense on 26 December [1962]: 'Planning Requirements Resulting from the Nassau Pact and the JUPITER Decision'

JCS Chairman Maxwell Taylor was aware of Kennedy’s Jupiter decision, but it is not clear when the other Chiefs learned of the “closely held decisions.” This paper, approved by General Paul S. Emrick, director of Plans and Policy for the Joint Staff, gave an overall look at the “planning requirements” necessitated by the Jupiter decision and the recent Nassau conference between President Kennedy and UK Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. Among the issues presented by the withdrawal of the Jupiter missiles were retargeting requirements, Sergeant missiles for Italy, the number of Polaris submarines patrolling the Mediterranean and their basing, and the speeding up of F-104G deliveries to Turkey.

January 26, 1968

"Defence And Oversea Policy Committee: Non-Proliferation: Memorandum By The Minister Of State For Foreign Affairs "

Subsequent to De Gaulle's November 1967 veto of Wilson's EEC application, senior British ministers still saw the European question as having considerable importance. Shortly before his departure from the role of Foreign Secretary, George Brown reported to the Defence and Oversea Policy Committee that the ructions over Article 3 of the NPT would be "particularly awkward for us as potential members of EURATOM and the E.E.C." De Gaulle's second "Non!" only served to postpone Britain's membership of the EEC, as Edward Heath's Conservative government successfully campaigned for accession, which took place in 1973.

October 2, 1967

Letter from Derek Day (Foreign Office) to Michael Palliser (Private Secretary for Foreign Affairs to the Prime Minister)

Responding to a request from Michael Palliser (Wilson's Private Secretary for foreign affairs), the Foreign Office's seasoned Europe-watcher Derek Day argued that the government needed to balance three – sometimes conflicting – UK interests. First, there was the position as a European power, particularly with regard to the ongoing EEC application. Second, there was the UK's status as a nuclear power, in which the UK shared “special responsibilities” with the US, exemplified by the UK's acquisition of Polaris submarine-launched ballistic missiles as its primary nuclear deterrent. Third, there was the desire to see a non-proliferation treaty concluded, which sometimes meant disagreement with both the United States and the Soviet Union. Day contended that the United Kingdom seemed to have been successful in positioning itself as understanding European anxieties, with Bonn having congratulated Wilson's administration on bring “good Europeans.” Day's assessment was seen and lauded by Wilson, who hoped that it was correct.

September 21, 1967

Memorandum from George Brown to Harold Wilson

When the USSR and the USA submitted a draft non-proliferation treaty in the early autumn of 1967, British representatives were enthusiastically arguing that as a prospective member of EURATOM, any British position must axiomatically take account of European interests.  As the negotiations moved forward, though, Wilson's government found itself caught in a three-sided trap of its own devising: fearful of being labelled “bad Europeans,” anxious about being seen by Washington as “unreliable allies,” and concerned about Moscow viewing them as part of the “treacherous West.”  Balancing out these competing concerns was becoming foremost in the minds of senior ministers.

May 18, 1967

Memorandum for the Prime Minister, 'Non-Proliferation'

By the early summer of 1967, Foreign Secretary George Brown felt compelled to comment that "if the situation should arise in which there is a direct confrontation between the United States and Russians on one side—and the members of EURATOM on the other, on the issue of the acceptability of EURATOM safeguards we should have to consider our position very carefully: the whole success of our European policy might depend on the choice we made. For the present it should therefore be a major aim of our policy at Geneva to see that things do not reach such a state." This came only a week after Wilson formally launched the UK's bid to become a member of the EEC, and two days after De Gaulle cast doubt on Britain's fitness to join the community.

March 1, 1967

Note for the Record [about a Meeting between the Prime Minister, Sir Burke Trend, and Sir Solly Zuckerman at 10:30a.m. on 1 March 1967]

Two "Notes for the Record" from March 1, 1967, describe the vigorous discussions between senior UK government figures, including Harold Wilson, Foreign Secretary George Brown, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Lord Chalfont, and chief scientific adviser to the government Solly Zuckerman. Brown argued that "our posture on the matter should be distinctively European rather than one of supporting the United States against other European countries." Wilson was even more explicit, stating that "our approach should be that of a European power discussing the matter with European partners and not seeking to fight American battles." Wilson was keen to let Washington take the lead so that his government might avoid upsetting the French, as had happened with the debates over De Gaulle's 1966 withdrawal from the NATO command structure.

March 1, 1967

Note for the Record [about a Meeting between the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary, and Lord Chalfont at 6:50p.m. on 1 March 1967]

Two "Notes for the Record" from March 1, 1967, describe the vigorous discussions between senior UK government figures, including Harold Wilson, Foreign Secretary George Brown, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Lord Chalfont, and chief scientific adviser to the government Solly Zuckerman. Brown argued that "our posture on the matter should be distinctively European rather than one of supporting the United States against other European countries." Wilson was even more explicit, stating that "our approach should be that of a European power discussing the matter with European partners and not seeking to fight American battles." Wilson was keen to let Washington take the lead so that his government might avoid upsetting the French, as had happened with the debates over De Gaulle's 1966 withdrawal from the NATO command structure.

February 22, 1967

Non-Proliferation and Our Entry into E.E.C.

The Harold Wilson government was continually focused on the issue of demonstrating that Britain should be seen as a “European” power with interests compatible with the existing EEC membership. This high-level Foreign Office note queried what the UK could do when pulled in different directions by the need to finalize a non-proliferation treaty while avoiding unnecessary damage to its European interests. This memorandum was drafted against a background of rumblings from EEC capitals that by tacitly supporting NPT proposals put forward by U.S. officials the Wilson government was being anti-European.

Pagination